Vanagon EE20 Boxer Turbo Diesel

The Subaru Boxer diesel, first appearing in 2008, is a twin-cam, four-cylinder displacing 2.0L. It feeds off a common-rail fuel-delivery system and breathes via 16 valves and a variable-nozzle turbo. Output is 145 hp at 3600 rpm and a whopping 258 lb-ft of torque at just 1800 rpm.

EE20 Subaru Boxer Diesel

Four chain-driven cams result in very low maintenance and compact power plant that fits perfectly in the Vanagon engine bay. Power delivery is smooth and even heavier Vanagons have no trouble with the steepest hills.

All the original troublesome Vanagon engine components are removed, including the engine management computer, fuel injection wiring harness, injectors, distributor, A/C compressor, alternator, exhaust header, etc. and replaced with Subaru components.

Vanagon optional items like cruise control and air conditioning can be refitted and remain completely functional.

A perfect match of the Subaru to the Vanagon with great ground clearance and an installation that looks like the factory might have built it. In other words, no compromises!

Report from a happy owner. "We did 2,111 miles round trip, with an average mpg of 27.4. The mpg varied quite a bit, between slower, island type driving, freeway speeds, tailwinds, and strong gusty headwinds.....from 30.3 to 23.9. Overall......big success. My wife loves it!"

Great news for California Vanagon owners; Look into inspection and verification after conversion....it's possible you might not need any more smog checks! Verification form. Do you need a smog check?

Boxer turbo nestled nicely into the Westy's engine bay!

EE20 Subaru Boxer Diesel in Vanagon Westy

The Vanagon can be more reliable! The engine starts quickly, idles so smooth and quiet you sometimes forget it's a diesel!


First mileage report: Over 30mpg !

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Lots of ground clearance under the Boxer with the custom alloy oil pan.

EE20 Subaru Boxer Diesel in Vanagon Westy rear view

Here is a video of the Boxer in action.


If you're going to make it go, you've got to make it stop! Vented, larger diameter rotors with bigger calipers in the front and SmallCar designed vented disc brakes replace the original drum brakes in the rear. 16" wheels and performance tires complete the traction package.


Vanagon Boxer Diesel Features

  • Small Car designed engine mount, perfect for Syncro and 2wd Vanagons.
  • Air to water intercooler fits nicely in the engine bay and does a superb job of charge cooling.
  • Aluminum alloy oil pan allows great ground clearance with original oil capacity.
  • The Syncro skid plate can be refitted easily.
  • Cruise control or air conditioning? No problem.


The cost to install the Boxer Diesel into a Vanagon 2wd manual transmission or Syncro is $12,975 plus the cost of the engine.

Available as of June 2015

2009 2.0T Test engine $6975

What's Included

  • SmallCar aluminum bellhousing
  • Small Car designed engine mount system
  • OEM dual mass flywheel
  • OEM type diesel clutch
  • Complete stainless or ceramic coated exhaust system
  • New radiator
  • Stainless steel header
  • Air to water intercooler with front mounted radiator
  • All installation labor, engine fluids

Optional items

  • Transmission rebuild and gear changes - recommended 
  • Air Conditioned cars - $775 Note: This cost is based on a Van with properly functioning A/C.
  • Cruise control (if already equipped and operating) - $150
  • Color touchscreen dash display - $895
  • 5,000 RPM tach face - $150
  • White Gauge faces with 5K tach $225
  • Modify Syncro skid plate $150
  • Wheel and tire upgrades
  • 11" vented front brakes
  • 10.4" rear disc brakes
  • OME, HD shocks
  • HD springs for Syncros

Payment terms

Before arrival of your Vanagon we generally get a deposit of approximately the engine cost to acquire and prepare the Subaru engine.
Upon delivery of your Vanagon for the installation, a 50% deposit is required with the balance due upon completion of the work.
There is a $15.00 per day storage fee after 5 days.


All new parts have a 6 months or 6,000 mile warranty. Used parts have a 30 day warranty. Extended warranties are available on request. If the vehicle cannot be returned to us for warranty service, repairs at another location should be authorized with us before the repairs are completed. Diagnosis is covered only if it is performed in our shop.